Lincoln's Victory Speech to be Auctioned

Address is considered one of Lincoln's most important

Abraham Lincoln’s original, handwritten 1864 presidential victory speech – considered one of the most important addresses of his presidency -- will be auctioned this week at Christie’s, the auction house said Monday.

The speech will be on view to the public through Wednesday, with a sale set for Feb. 12 at the famed New York City auction house.  The four-page speech is expected to fetch between $3 and $4million.

The address was delivered at the White House on the evening of November 10, 1864, immediately after Lincoln won a surprising re-election to a second term as the nation was divided by civil war.

Noah Brooks, a journalist during the Lincoln Era, wrote that about 1500 supporters stood on the White House lawn to hear the victory speech.

Lincoln appeared in the window over the north portico, where a secretary held a candle to illuminate the pages as he read the speech.

As the Civil War raged, Lincoln maintained the importance of holding the 1864 vote.

"A people's government can sustain a national election, in the midst of a great civil war."

The election," he said, "was a necessity," for "we cannot have free government without elections; and if the rebellion could force us to forego, or postpone a national election, it might fairly claim to have already conquered and ruined us, he said."

The auction comes a week ahead of the 200th anniversary of Lincoln's birth.

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